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Maryland Police Officer Fined $185 for Speeding in Crash that Paralyzed Teen Boy

Luis Jovel, Jr. (Personal Photo)
Maryland Police Officer Fined $185 for Speeding in Crash that Paralyzed a Clarksburg Boy
Luis Jovel, Jr. (Personal Photo)

CLARKSBURG, Md.(CBS) A Montgomery County police officer who struck and paralyzed a young boy with his cruiser received a $185 speeding ticket. It is unclear whether the officer was disciplined by the state or the police department.

In the April 2008 incident, 14-year-old Luis Jovel Jr. was rendered a quadriplegic and suffered a permanent brain injury.

Due to state confidentiality laws, officials will not say whether Officer Jason Cokinos - who was found not guilty of negligent driving or contributing to an accident - was disciplined by the county's police department, reports The Washington Examiner.

Lt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for Montgomery police, told The Washington Examiner that officer Cokinos' case came under the confidentiality laws once the county police internal affairs division became involved.

"When the case is referred to the Internal Affairs Division, it's considered a personnel matter," he said, and personnel matters are confidential.

Cokinos, who was 23-years-old at the time, was reportedly speeding, doing 56 in a 30 mile-per-hour zone, when he struck Luis in front of his Clarksburg home.

A Montgomery County District Court judge found Cokinos not guilty of negligent driving or contributing to an accident the following November; however, Cokinos pleaded guilty to driving 26 miles above the posted speed limit.

He was then fined $185 and an additional $25 court fee, says The Washington Examiner.

Police conducted their own investigation and found that Luis would not have been hit had Cokinos been traveling at the speed limit.

According to The Washington Examiner, Montgomery County will pay $400,000 to the Jovel family to provide around-the-clock medical care for Luis.